The default Windows explorer is very basic and you can perform only a handful of operations. In the past few years, Windows have upgraded their operating system several times but there are still some useful features lacking in Windows Explorer. For example, all the hard drives are shown at the top, you can double click to open any hard drive in the same explorer window and view/open the files and folders. The point here is that the explorer opens in the same window and you have to hit the back button to go back to the previous screen.
Compare this usage with tabbed browsers – you can open a link in a new tab or in the existing tab. But Windows explorer fails to provide this user convenience.
The second drawback is – there is no quick access list. Yes, you have a sidebar at the left but users should have the ability to create a quick access list – quite similar to browser bookmarks. This will allow them to open important files and folders quickly, without having to repeatedly open the hard drives and navigate to the folder all along.
Due to these reasons, I have made a switch and now use a full featured explorer for Windows – called Explorer ++ and it has some unique features which you will love using.
How Explorer ++ is a Better Explorer for Windows
First of all, Explorer++ is a portable tool, you can copy the package in your USB drive and use it on any computer without having to install anything. Following are some of the unique features of Explorer++ which makes it a strong alternative of Windows Explorer:
1. Tabbed Navigation Pane:
When you open Explorer ++, you see the following interface:
Looks much the same as Windows explorer with a sidebar at the left and the main navigation pane at the right. But there are a lot of options in the menu bar which make it more useful.
You can quickly open a new explorer pane in the same explorer window by using the keyboard shortcut ( Ctrl + T) or by selecting “New Tab” from the file menu
This is very useful when you are working on multiple folders at the same time. You can open folders one by one and switch between the tabs using Ctrl + Tab. To close an explorer tab, use Ctrl + W. The keyboard shortcuts are just the same as tabbed browsers.
2. Bookmarks list:
There is a Bookmarks link at the menu bar which lets you bookmark a folder so that you can access it quickly without having to open your hard drive. The keyboard shortcut is Ctrl + D
3. The Options Toolbar:
There is a sleek little options toolbar located just under the file menu. You can perform a lot of file operations using the buttons on the options toolbar.
The most useful options are copy to folder, move to folder, cut, copy and paste. This adds to easier file management, you can copy a file or folder to another location in your computer from the same explorer window.
There are more options which include opening the control panel and command prompt directly from the explorer window, searching for files and adding custom colors to the folders ( from tools > options).
Overall, Explorer++ is a great freeware utility for power users who need better file management in Windows explorer. Once you get used to it, you will start loving this app.
What do you think about Explorer++? Do you use any tabbed explorer for Windows? Share your ideas in the comments section.